This introductory chapter discusses the two ‘E-word’ coordinates of the volume—‘Establishment’ and ‘Empire’—which were arguably the most significant factors affecting the Anglican Church between 1662 and 1829 and asks what the consequences were for the Church of its establishment status and how it was affected by being the established Church of an emerging global power. The chapter surveys the historiography and argues that the Church was far more vital to the period than is often maintained. The chapter also explores the relationship between Anglicanism and two other ‘E-words’—‘Enlightenment’ and ‘Evangelicalism’—which have often been seen as critical reactions against the Church. While the themes of ‘Establishment’, ‘Empire’, ‘Enlightenment’, and ‘Evangelicalism’ had separate, and sometimes competing, trajectories, as this volume indicates, Anglicanism during the long eighteenth century could also hold them together in distinctive ways.
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